Most people, if asked, would prefer to have more independence and autonomy with the way they spend their money. Being able to buy the things you want for yourself and manage your own finances would seem to be the best approach for finances in marriage, especially in marriages with both spouses working and earning an income.
The problem with this approach, however, is that it doesn’t usually work. In many cases, this very financial independence that spouses desire ends up being the root cause of many problems down the road. Often, this autonomy results in miscommunication and disagreements about money – the kind of disagreements that can lead to divorce.
The Surprise About Money in Marriage
According to Forbes Magazine online, fighting about money is the most common indicator of divorce.
It is interesting that the most common indicator is not lack of money, but fighting about money. This suggests that money fights leading to divorce are about as common for wealthy couples as they are for couples with less income.
Why Money Fights Lead to Divorce
- Hiding assets: Marriages that work are based on a mutual commitment from each spouse to give themselves completely to each other. When this commitment does not include the money, a rift can form and the entire relationship can break down as a result.
- Miscommunication: When all of the money is in one shared account, each spouse has their eye on the money. As a result, overdrafts are less likely and each spouse is less likely to engage in irresponsible spending habits.
- Lack of trust: Keeping all of the money in a shared account forces couples to communicate more and talk about their money together, rather than keeping things hidden from each other. As a result, their communication and their consideration for each other improves, protecting the relationship.
What if Your Relationship is Already Over?
If you are in a relationship that has deteriorated due to money problems or other issues, the most important thing you can do is discuss your situation with a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney. There are times when relationships end, and it is important to protect your rights and your long-term interests.